Callicarpa shikokiana
Common Name: shikoku beautyberry  
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 6 to 10
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Pale pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy

Culture

Grow in average, medium moisture, moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Best flowering and fruiting is in full sun. Stems can become leggy in too much shade. Some tolerance for drought. Flowers bloom on new wood. Prune as needed in late winter to early spring. Pruning options include a hard pruning back to 6” each year in order to promote shrub compactness and good flowering. In harsh winters in USDA Zone 6, stems may die back to the ground with new growth emerging from the roots in spring. Best cross-pollination and resultant fruit production occur when shrubs are planted in groups or massed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Callicarpa shikokiana, commonly called Shikoku beautyberry, is a deciduous shrub that typically grows to 4-6’ tall and as wide with a somewhat sprawling habit. It is native to Japan. As the common name of beautyberry suggests, the best ornamental feature of most shrubs in the genus Callicarpa is the showy display of fleshy, globe-shaped, berry-like fruits which mature in expanded axillary clusters along the stems in fall.

Arching upright stems are clad with elliptic to ovate, medium green leaves (to 3” long). Leaves turn yellow in fall. Pale pink flowers bloom in June to early August in axillary clusters near the stem tips. Flowers are usually somewhat hidden by the foliage and are not considered to be a standout ornamental feature of this shrub. Flowers are followed by showy clusters of bright purple berries (drupes) that ripen in fall. The berries are in fact the ornamental standout of this plant, being very attractive at the peak of ripeness (October). Fruits are attractive to birds.

Genus name comes from Greek meaning beautiful fruit.

Specific epithet is in reference to Shikokiana which is the smallest of Japan’s main islands. `

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Winter dieback is a significant problem in the northern parts of its growing range. Some susceptibility to leaf spot, stem diseases and black mold.

Uses

Good shrub for the southern U.S. Group or mass. Individual shrubs grown as specimens are not recommended. Borders, bird gardens. Underplanting for open woodland areas. For an interesting fall berry display, plant in combination with other fall berry-producing shrubs such as Ilex verticillata (red berries) and Pyracantha (orange berries).